Friday, April 10, 2009
#675 ... A Clean Protest
The Service & Food Workers Union’s Clean Start campaign kicked off with cleaning workers in Auckland and Wellington protesting against the behaviour of New Zealand’s largest contract cleaning firm, Spotless. This is outside the Government Executive offices at the northern end of Lambton Quay. The cleaners say Spotless does not give them enough time to do their jobs properly, or pay them enough money to look after their families.
Cleaners in both cities marched to buildings where Spotless holds cleaning contracts to raise awareness of their situation. Tenants were shocked to hear that Spotless pays its cleaners as little as $10.95 an hour. In Wellington, cleaners called on MPs to consider the low wages and poor conditions for cleaners in government-owned buildings. MPs whose offices are cleaned by Spotless were mailed sponges with the Clean Start message. Maori Party MP and Clean Start supporter Hone Harawira addressed cleaners and their supporters outside Parliament, saying it was unacceptable that cleaners were “holding down several jobs at shamefully low pay, in order to make ends meet.”